Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Glamour & Grace Guest Post

Psst! I know I'm on hiatus from the blog for now, but I shared some of the fun details of our wedding over at Glamour & Grace. It was really great to reminisce and think about the choices we made to prepare for a marriage, not just a wedding day (though let's be honest there was a lot to prep for in three months to pull this off!).


Thursday, September 18, 2014

Jumping In

Ever feel like you're being asking to dive head first into the unknown? You have a gut sense God is  involved in this crazy jumpy endeavor but it feels absurd, counterintuitive, and terribly disruptive. And yet, and yet, feels like l i f e.

That's me.

For a time, and I don't know how long, I'm going to stop posting to Sacred Celebration.

I need to recalibrate. I need to r e i m a g i n e. I need Him. I need to nestle in to some questions. I need to root deeper into my hiddenness in Him. And truthfully I just have a sense, a little more than a hunch that this is the way, walk in it. 

I don't want the blog to be birthed out of pressure....pressure to be someone, pressure to be seen, pressure to keep up. And it certainly isn't always that, but somedays it is.

I've heard God beckon me this way before and I'd be wise to follow.

I love what Sacred Celebration has become for me...

* it's a place to share my story--and I believe everyone has a story worth sharing and uncovering.

* it's a place to name things in my life and be reminded of the intimate ways of God.

* it's a place to encourage us all that we're not alone, our life is one of meaning and purpose, and we all struggle with that.

* its a place to celebrate the sacred amidst all the mundane, everyday, and normal stuff of life.

But I also know there is more. And for now, I need to let that little seedling have some time to birth and root.

Bless you friends for creating s p a c e in your day to celebrate with me.

Appreciate your prayers.

Much love in Christ,


Thursday, September 11, 2014

Her, Again

I don't think this struggle of comparison is new to our generation. It may feel more in the forefront of our consciousness with social-media but it's been a core struggle of the feminine heart ever since Eve decided she wanted to be like God.

There's a funny little thing that goes on in that Genesis exchange. Eve wants to be like God, knowing good and evil, but what she has failed to internalize is that she already was like God, created in His image. She dwelt with God. She walked with God. She was created by God to do good things with Him.

But. It. Wasn't. Enough.

She did not trust where the boundary lines had been set. She did not believe the limits were part of the b l e s s i n g. She did not trust God to be God and her portion to be enough.

And I follow in her footsteps. We all do.


That could be the end of the story. In fact, I'm often tempted to tell myself, Nothing's ever gonna change. I will always feel this gaping reality that I don't measure up, I am a disappointment. Then because I am a Daughter of Eve, I begin to strive and try hard and manipulate who I am on the outside with what's really going on inside to cover over that terrible emptiness.

But here's the deal....this fallen reality no longer has to rule me. It may tempt me, but it's not the end of the story. The story is much more h o p e f u l.

I may be pulled to try to measure up to you. I may even sweat and labor in vain to get your approval. I may exhaust myself and exhaust you to do it.



In Christ, I have tasted a different fruit....within.

In Christ, I have had sweet moments of r e s t.

In Christ, I have felt seen and known and sought out.

In Christ, I have been set apart, chosen, refashioned.

And when I set my heart there, when I disrupt that nanosecond decision to prove myself and instead look on Him the temptation doesn't look so attractive. My "person of the hour" to compare myself to so I'm assured to come up short, is humanized. Befriended. A Daughter of Eve too. But a Daughter of the King more!

She struggles too.

She is on a journey.

She is human.

She has limits.

And it's when I get here, in this heart s p a c e, that I am able to o f f e r me and r e c e i v e you. Just. As. You. Are. Because He accepts me just where I am. He fills that gaping hole with His l i f e. He expands my vision to see the wide open spaces he has given me and the boundary lines that have fallen on good places.

He reveals the limits are the blessing. For my good, my protection.

He reveals I am enough because He said so.

He reveals his wondrous works in my heart and reminds me to sing His song---the glorious song of His story, in my life. Whether in word, deed, presence, or hiddenness when I look in His eyes and catch His gaze I'm caught up in this n e w  l i f e and it's good, beautifully messy, and expansive!


The urgent is temporal.

The measuring up feels ridiculous.

The stillness is magical.

The moment is full.

I am who I am. He has set His gaze on me. He will carry it out. He has dreams for me far above my own.

Glory! Birthed in rest.

Glory! Revealed through the new covenant....a new way.

Glory! Unveiled in an intimate moment with the Savior.

And in the wild, kingdom reality of a sacred moment, there is no other person I'd rather be.


And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:1-10 ESV)

Tuesday, September 9, 2014


I imagine her life, all exciting and dynamic. New opportunities abound...she's sought after, brilliant, moving and shaking up the world that's waiting on her doorstep each day. She get's 500,000 blog hits, maybe more like a million! Everyday she gets up knowing her deep value and worth. She brings it again and again and not once does she falter. She is tenacious and never let's defeat get her down. She faces the giants, again and again.

She is an illusion.

She is made up in my mind.

She taunts me daily.

She steals my joy.

She, my somewhere-out-there blog savvy, family friendly, object of perfection.

If I could just get to where she is then ____________.

And I know I am not alone.

Whomever I've given that exalted place of having "arrived" becomes the object to which I measure myself.  I am drawn by her words, they are beautiful and eloquent and true. They are lovely.

But the slithery and stealth Seducer twists and tangles them, corrupting the beauty being offered and enslaving my soul. What have you done? Look what she's doing with her life...You will never be enough. Why try?

The words that are meant to offer l i f e--the beauty that has been hard won and birthed in the deep dark-- now get all jumbly and twisty within me, comparison has set in, corrupting and corroding the heart receptacle and I miss the offering. I miss the piece that is for me and now try to become her.

And in just a few nanoseconds, I subtly begin to tuck away the dream, the risk, the little step of faith, the creativity and rather comatose quietly resolve to do the life-sucking thing because Oh yea, I forgot, I'll never be enough. There's nothing really special in me that hasn't already been done a million times better than I ever could so why try? And here I am again, picking the safe bets, the measurable things, the path of least resistance.

She slithers away, for she is no longer needed. I've agreed. I've gone along. All is safe once again. I'm a little more anesthetized to my life and a bit more withdrawn from my purpose.


I am beginning to dismantle her.

We are....

In little holy huddles here and there, we are beginning to dismantle her.

print by emilymcdowelldraws:
sold on etsy

We are starting to talk more about it: the toxicity of comparison. We're gathering in coffee shops, churches, over the phone or Skype, in conference rooms, in counseling offices.  

Our generation more than any other in history is bombarded by a woman who doesn't exist. We are living in a cyber-reality that every day offers us a little bit of l i f e but a whole lot of temptation.

How do I reap the benefit of the beauty being offered through blogs, Pinterest, magazines, and Instagram without desecrating my soul?

How do I engage culture and my present reality while not losing myself to something "out there" and miss what's "right here"?

How do I live the beauty of Christ's life within me, going forth through me, if I'm consumed with being someone else?

What if someone else's obedience is not my obedience and I'm spinning my wheels being her and not doing the risky, vulnerable work of learning what it means to be me?
a million little ways by emily p. freeman *

What if the hidden things are THE things?

What if offline is really what keeps our hearts online?

Is that enough?

Will. I. Let. That. Be. Enough.?

Will I believe, this day, I am enough. Period. End. Of. Story.

* A friend and I have started intentionally talking through some of these questions together. To jolt our conversation we are reading A Million Little Ways by Emily P. Freeman. Join us!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What I Learned in August

Today I'm linking up with Emily over at Chatting at the Sky to talk about what I learned in August. Here it is in no particular order....

1.  Events like baby dedications, always catch me off guard in how they merge the ordinary (family, kids rumbling about, loud chatter) and sacred (setting apart a little one to Jesus, extending your hand in faith and commitment, cherishing the sacred invitation you've been given to love this little one and her parents well).  All my family sat in the front and worshipped together. Moments like that are rare and so, so special!

2.  I love to watch my friends kiddos. Having Mr. F around to join in the fun makes it that much better. Slides are awesome! But somehow, they don't last as long as an adult?

 3.  It's true! You gain weight in your first year of marriage. Bummer.  I guess something in you relaxes and says I am loved no matter what, more cookies please!
 4. In the same way I dashed into my Grandma's bedroom and put all her jewelry and fancy clothes on, my niece now associates our home with bling. It never gets old and that little girl in me has not gone away! Doesn't Mr. F look fancy?
 5. Quilts make great tablecloths! This idea will make it's way into our dinner parties!  Speaking of which in August I decided I WILL host a dinner party by the end of this year!

6.  I learned (well relearned) what an extraordinary privilege it is to be a step-mom. Eric is a kind, fun-loving, tender, welcoming soul who brings so much into the world. He is also teachable, open, and in he learns from his mistakes and is growing in wisdom.  What a humbling and beautiful gift it is to co-parent with Mr. F. We cherish this season as he transitions to leaving the nest.
7. When Downton Abbey is not available (dying for Season 5) we turn to Call the Midwife for our BBC fix. Its a simpler story but I never tire of watching those babies be born and I'd like to think I'm learning some things along the way should we be blessed to have our own.

Well there you have it....what I learned in August!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Summer Collapsing into F a l l....

Ah, can you feel it? Fall is coming....

I once said this to one of my best friends, Elizabeth, who grew up on the East Coast and she rolled her eyes and let out a deep sigh.

Apparently Californians have a very different picture of the signs of fall than others!

But I feel it....the sun is setting earlier, the light is shifting in the sky, the clouds are coming more readily, and I pray, dear God, some rain will visit us soon.

This week I'm laying low and enjoying the quiet moments. I'll be back to blogging next week.  So in the meantime.....

Lord, draw us ever nearer with the vastness of your g r a c e.  Help us s l o w  d o w n to hear and respond to you in the quiet. May we not react but respond, and rejoice when we actually do it. Help us hush when the temptations to fill the s p a c e and awkward come. Teach us to be sensitive to your Spirit and enter one another's hearts with life-words...for you are there.

Bless your weekend friends!

Friday, August 15, 2014

L i g h t Found in a Week of Hovering Darkness

This week marks a week of heaviness for our collected consciousness.

Everyone felt it in some way, shape, or form.

The Middle East.

The Ukraine.

Robin Williams.

The stigma of mental illness being catapulted through every online magazine, blog, and news program.

And the reason it matters, every bit of it, is because each of us carries round with us our own story. Our own familial wars, religious wars, mental wars, and they are tucked away in a little place we call the subconscious, influencing us day-in and day-out.  We may be unaware but each of us have several story-lines playing in the background that make it to the forefront of our consciousness during weeks like these.

It's like the world is forced to take a collective p a u s e.

But rather than go all ginormous on you and "out there" I'm gonna bring it back in to right here, right now, right in my little life.

This week felt BIG, perhaps because the collective circumstances of our world collided with some tender places and important s p a c e s in my story.  It's like God lifted up the rug of my life and dust and debris flung everywhere but are settling on good places, holy places, places reserved for the remnant of God.

My heart went back to His words replanted earlier this year:

You sought and inquired of Me and required Me on the necessity and authority of My Word, and I heard you, and I delivered you from all your fears. You looked to me and were radiant. your face shall never blush for shame of be confused.

My poor daughter cried, and I heard you, and saved you out of all your troubles.

I, the Angel of the Lord, the incarnate One, encamp around you who revere and worship me with awe and deliver you.

Oh Beloved, taste and see that I am good!  (Psalm 34: 1-9, personalized from Amplified Bible)

Then His words spoken just weeks ago:

I will keep and protect you, Beloved, for you have found r e f u g e in Me, you put your trust  and are hidden in Me.

You say, "He is my LORD, I have no good, beside or beyond Him..."

I am your chosen and assigned portion, your cup. I hold and maintain your lot.

The lines have fallen for you in pleasant places, sweetheart, YES! You have a g o o d heritage.

You will bless Me! I have given you good counsel, yes, I even instruct you in the night seasons.

You have set Me continually before you, because I am at your right hand, you will not be moved!

Therefore, let your h e a r t be g l a d and let your g l o r y rejoice; your body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety.

For I shall not abandon you to death, neither will I suffer you to see corruption.

I will show you the path of l i f e; in My presence is fullness of j o y, at My right hand there are p l e a s u r e s forevermore. (Psalm 16, personalized from Amplified Bible)

You see when it's all said and done His words and His l i f e are what carry me, hold me, settle me during weeks like this. Drawing upon my memorial stones of His faithfulness, pursuit, correction, and guidance are what breathe true  h o p e and g l o r y!

These Scriptures remind me of the bigger story of my life and the intimate ways Jesus has come for me. They take me back to heartbreak, anxiety and depression, friendship tensions and fallouts, ministry disappointments, family hurts, and all those little subplots my life holds.

In a week we were all tempted to hide in the dark or be coerced back there, God gave us a collective opportunity to tenderly hold grief, confusion, bewilderment, mysteries, and dark places we don't like to go up against His l i g h t. And that, that friends, changes things. Changes everything.

Was it hard?


Will it be hard or even get harder?


Does He care?

Yes, deeply. The cross at the forefront.

Can change happen?

Yes, absolutely. The resurrection--new life!

In the midst of all we are holding this week, try to step away from the blogs, articles, and feeds and take a deep b r e a t h e.  Ask the Lord to help you wander through the storyboard of your life and bring to mind recollections of His care and l i g h t in the darkest of times. If you can't imagine where he was, just ask Him, and wait. You may want to do this with a trusted friend or mentor.

He is God with us--Emmanuel!

Happy Friday friends and may His l i g h t ever shine....